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When we worship God, in a crowd or alone with our Bible, He is praised and glorified. Charles Billingsley has led worship in huge arenas, but worship is always about the intimacy between one person and God. With Words on Worship, you are invited into private, personal worship with your Lord. These warm, intimate writings encourage and guide you through daily worship and devotions. They set the tone for the day to be one of praise, gratitude, and companionship with God.
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Charles Billingsley is one of Christian music’s most captivating inspirational voices. The singer, worship leader, husband, father, and teacher is also a gifted writer. He is artist-in-residence and an instructor at Liberty University when he is not appearing at popular events and conferences around the world. Charles lives with his wife and teenage sons in Lynchburg, Virginia
Read an Excerpt
Words on Worship
Devotions of Praise
By Charles Billingsley
Worthy Publishing GroupCopyright © 2016 Charles Billingsley
All rights reserved.
The Most Important Thing You Can Do
What does the LORD your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.
DEUTERONOMY 10:12 – 13
What is the most important thing you can do in your life? That's a big question! If I were to stand on a busy street corner and poll a thousand people, I would probably get a thousand different answers.
Jesus was asked this same question by a religious leader of His day, except the question was phrased like this: "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" To which Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:28, 30).
Do you know what worship is? It is that right there: to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. As you move throughout your day, remember that the most important thing you can do in your life is to simply love God. All He wants is all of you.
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Lord, thank You that what you require of me is simply that I love You and follow You with all of my being. Help me today to live for You.CHAPTER 2
Do You Recognize the Voice of God?
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
We live in a noisy world. Moments of absolute silence are rare. In fact, some of us actually sleep better with a noisemaker. We have grown so accustomed to noise that total silence is eerie and makes us uncomfortable. But have you ever considered that the word listen contains the same letters as the word silent?
One of the best ways we can worship Him today is to get alone, turn the noise off, and rest in the silence. Psalm 46:10 puts it this way: "Be still, and know that I am God!" It is in the stillness that we hear and recognize His voice.
When life gets stressful, focus on God. In Isaiah 26:3 we're reminded, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" Stress is predictable. So when it hits, find peace and comfort and rest in the Lord. Worship Him in the midst of it all and you'll find that He helps you through it all. Listen for His still, small voice in your heart today whispering words of peace.
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Father, You're so good to remind me to be still before You. Help me to quiet the noise and shut out the distractions that I might rest in Your presence awhile.CHAPTER 3
Will You Worship God with Open Hands?
I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
Hands speak a language of their own, don't they? Hands held up can mean praise or even surrender. Hands held out with palms up can mean either I'm giving something to you or you're giving something to me. Closed hands can be a sign of aggression as they form a fist. You get the idea.
As we approach worship, I encourage you to live with open hands. It is only with open hands that we can give something away, but it's also only with open hands that we can receive.
Worship always includes three elements: glory, dedication, and sacrifice. Lifting our hands in praise is ascribing glory to God, but reaching out our hands in service requires sacrifice. Both acts serve a proper purpose in worship, and our walk with God requires both.
Worship is you and me giving our hearts in praise to God, but He is gracious in that He blesses us in return for our praise. The God who has given so much still wants to give us more. Isn't that just like Him? So worship the Lord with open hands, ready to give, ready to serve. You never know what blessings God will put back into those open hands of yours.
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Here are my hands, Lord — open, available. Whom would You have me reach out to today with Your love?CHAPTER 4
Once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.
EPHESIANS 5:8 – 10
Salt has many valuable uses. It preserves, it flavors, and it purifies. Jesus must have had that in mind when He told us, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men" (Matthew 5:13 NKJV).
As the salt of the earth, it is our job to do all we can to preserve the moral fiber of our nation and hinder the spread of corruption. We accomplish this by wising up to the mentality of our culture — by learning why people believe what they believe — so we can discover how to bring change to our world through the power of His Spirit and the truth of His Word. We cannot afford to sit idly by and watch a generation grow up around us who have never been exposed to true worshipers. We must learn how to combat the sin of our time while at the same time truly love the sinner with the compassion of Christ. Not an easy balance to find, but necessary.
Know what you believe and why you believe it, and then stand strong and steady as the salt of the earth.
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Jesus, show me what it looks like to be salt in my corner of the world!CHAPTER 5
Beware of the Pharisee
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece.
EPHESIANS 2:8 – 10
If you've been a Christian long, you know we all have a tendency to become pharisaical at times. Depending on our background and denominational upbringing, we all have certain so-called sins that we consider worse than others, even if we don't publicly admit it.
Pharisees in the days of Jesus were the church crowd, but not the loving, grace-giving church crowd. These guys were a religious sect obsessed with following the law to the last detail. They were harsh and judgmental to those who didn't. They were religious for all the wrong reasons. For the Pharisee, life wasn't about having a loving, thriving relationship with God. Rules trumped relationship.
You know, society is still doing that today, even among churchgoers. As a follower and worshiper of Jesus, I challenge you today to raise the standard of living in your world by shedding any legalistic mind-set you might have. Embrace the grace-giving love of Jesus. Live your faith with an authentic love for Jesus. Let His grace shine through you because of your faith in Him.
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Lord, may my life be a reflection of the grace You have so abundantly bestowed on me.CHAPTER 6
Worship God with a Clean Heart
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.
My little boy once asked me, "Do I have to use soap every time I take a shower?" Of course my answer was yes! The water of a shower does wonders, but it's the soap that washes the dirt away thoroughly. And just as soap gets the dirt off our skin, so the blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sin. We read in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (NKJV).
Everyone sins; that's just a fact. But when we sin, we must repent and turn from it so it doesn't become a habit or a practice in our lives. When we don't confess our sin, our fellowship with God is weakened, and our worship becomes distant and strained. To repent means to make an about-face, to turn from the way we were heading and go the opposite direction. As worshipers, we must regularly confess our sins and work to stay in right relationship with the Lord.
So, next time you shower and reach for the soap, be reminded of the cleansing power of Jesus's blood. Because He died on the cross for you and me, we can worship Him with a clean heart and a pure life.
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Father, thank You for being faithful and just to forgive. Help me to be quick to repent when I sin!CHAPTER 7
Make Jesus the Focus of Your Worship
Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.
Jesus should always be the object of our worship. Philippians 2:10 reminds us that one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess the name of Jesus. Every living being — angels and humans alike — will bow before King Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. It is only Jesus who has the right of sovereignty, "for in him all things were created.... He is before all things and in him all things hold together" (1:16 – 17 NIV).
So let me ask you this: Is worshiping Jesus a regular practice in your life? It should be the most natural thing for us as Christians to place Jesus in a position of preeminence in our lives. But many times — maybe not in belief, but in action — we relegate Him to just another religious object to be brought out for a Sunday morning experience.
Remember today that Jesus is the very image of the invisible Creator God. He is God in the flesh, the One for whom all things were created. Worship Him today as King of kings and Lord of lords and let His majesty consume your lifestyle of worship.
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Jesus, it's all about You! Reign in me today. Help me to keep You in the place of preeminence in my life.CHAPTER 8
Worship the Lord by Seeking His Face
When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
PSALM 27:8 NKJV
Second Chronicles 7:14 gives us a four-step process for personal revival. In this verse the Lord tells us we are to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our sin. I love the phrase "seek His face." It implies we are to seek the very heart and mind of God. We are to seek after who He is.
Too often we seek the hand of God before we seek the face of God. When we seek God's hand, we are looking for what God can do. When we seek the face of God, we are looking at who God is. Although it is perfectly natural for us as His children to seek both the hand and face of God, many times we seek His hand first in order to bring us an experience or deliver us out of trouble. He is certainly capable and willing, but to seek His face means we come to Him seeking His agenda instead of our own.
So if you want revival in your life of worship, begin by humbling yourself, praying, and earnestly seeking the face of God, not just His hand.
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O God, I bow before You now in adoration and worship. Have Your way in my life today!CHAPTER 9
Learn to Practice the Wisdom of Firsts
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!"
When I was in college, a wise professor told me to start practicing the wisdom of firsts. By that he meant that I should make it a habit of giving God the first part of everything in my life. That way, I ensure that God is getting the best part of me rather than the leftovers.
The formula is simple: Give God the first of everything in my life. At minimum, the first tenth of every dollar should go to God. The first moments of every day should be reserved for time alone with God. The first one I should go to when I am in need is God. The first day of the week should be set aside to honor the Lord and fellowship with His people in church. And on and on the list goes. I think you get the idea.
I encourage you today to give God your very best. Practice the wisdom of worshiping God with your firsts and then watch how He blesses your life!
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Lord, all I have belongs to You. What changes do I need to make to ensure I'm giving You the first of everything in my life?CHAPTER 10
What Does Real Love Look Like?
We love each other because he loved us first.
1 JOHN 4:19
In a day and age when the word love is flippantly thrown about in reference to anything from football to food and family, it's sometimes hard to gain a clear understanding of what real love looks like. So what does it look like? Well, it's like Saint Augustine said: "Love has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like."
The Bible reminds us in 1 John that "God is love." True love in its purest form comes only from God. What we need to understand is that you and I would have no capacity to love others if God had not loved us first. It is His love for us that gives us a reason for hope today. It was His sacrifice that brings us His reward. He loves us so much that He made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Because God so loved the world, He gave us His Son, Jesus, the embodiment of love.
So, what does love look like? Jesus! Let Jesus be your example of how to truly love others.
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May I be so filled with the awareness of Your love for me, Jesus, that it can't help but overflow to everyone around me!CHAPTER 11
What Is the Purpose of Worship?
You must serve only the LORD your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness.
We all worship something or someone. I believe it's safe to say we worship that which we live for. And we live for that which we worship. We are created beings and have a natural inclination, a built-in desire, to worship something or someone. The problem is, many of us end up worshiping a creation of some sort rather than the Creator Himself. But the purpose of worship is so that you and I can fulfill our purpose in life. We were created to worship God. We were made to live for Him and enjoy Him forever.
If you are not living a lifestyle of worship, then you are missing the whole purpose of your existence. I realize that may sound like a broad and far-fetched statement, but it really is the truth. The beautiful thing is, even though God should be the object of our worship, somehow He takes our worship and turns it into a blessing for us. So the purpose of our worship is to honor and bless the Lord, but the result of worship is that He, in turn, blesses us. Isn't that just like God?
Worship the Giver of life today with all that you are.
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Glorious God, You are worthy of all worship and praise!CHAPTER 12
Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
It's a common practice for churches to have multiple styles of worship services. Of course, when we say "style" it almost always refers to the music. Unfortunately, in our efforts to please everyone, church leaders are prone to cater to the preferences of the people rather than leading by vision. We must understand that worship services in our local church body should not be planned around our personal preferences. Rather, our worship services should be focused on dwelling in God's presence. It is only in the manifest presence of God that we will truly see lives changed and hearts tuned in to worshiping in spirit and in truth.
Worship also requires preparation on our part, personally and corporately. Personal worship prepares us for corporate worship, and corporate worship prepares us for personal worship. In other words, the time we spend with Jesus during the week will have a direct impact on how we respond to His presence on Sunday morning at church. Worship happens when our hearts are prepared to be in His presence.
So remember, worship is not a style and it's not a song. Worship in our churches happens when one godly believer joins the company of other believers to celebrate the presence of God regardless of the style of the music.
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Lord, when I gather with other believers in Your house, help us to put our differences aside and simply celebrate Your presence.
Excerpted from Words on Worship by Charles Billingsley. Copyright © 2016 Charles Billingsley. Excerpted by permission of Worthy Publishing Group.
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